Cruz chides jueteng legalization bill

RETIRED Archbishop Oscar Cruz maintained that legalizing “jueteng” will not stop the multi-million illegal numbers game in the country.

Cruz, head of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, pointed out that legitimizing underground lottery would only spawn other forms of gambling in the country.

“It is in the nature of jueteng to be illegal because that’s where the money is. Another game will come out with maybe a different name but similar operators and structure than that of jueteng,” said Cruz.

One example, he said, is the government-run small-town lottery (STL), the legal counterpart of jueteng that was only used as a front for illegal numbers game.

Cruz said STL has the same structure as jueteng, using bet collectors, area managers and bet reviewers in its operations. In fact, he added, many jueteng operators are themselves STL operators.

The Church is against any kind of gambling, saying it destroys society’s moral fiber and exploits the poor who are led to depend on luck.

In jueteng, Cruz said it does not only exploit lowly bettors but also promote corruption among government officials.

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada earlier filed a bill legalizing jueteng in view of generating more revenues for the national government.

Estrada’s Senate Bill 2548 or the proposed “Jueteng Act of 2010,” assigns the supervision of the numbers game to the casino monopoly, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

The measure likewise proposes that no law enforcers or public officials should allow the operation of jueteng in their jurisdiction. CBCPNews

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